School can get pretty rough for some, being continuously bombarded with information and having little time to actually retain it before going home to do an hour or more of homework. One attentive principal took notice to this vicious cycle and decided to make a drastic change.
After 12 years of being a principal at Clintondale High School, Greg Green was sure that his school was off in some way. Only 63% of graduates from Clintondale continued on to college, and 35% of students didn’t even make it to graduation. Clintondale was actually rated one of the worst schools in Michigan, and despite the staff utilizing every resource they had, nothing worked. Then, something finally clicked.
Green, aside from being a principal, is also a baseball coach. For Green to best utilize the time he had with his players, he would make videos of their practices and have them watch them at home. This gave him more time to fix problems, rather than explain them.
Was there a way that classrooms could apply this same tactic? A change was long overdue.
Green decided to flip his classrooms. Clintondale first used one flipped classroom to teach students that were struggling and compared it to a typical classroom teaching average students, with both classrooms using the same subject material. The results were shocking!
Between both classrooms, the at-risk students actually out-performed the average students’ class. Green used this experiment to make a point to the school that it’s not all about the technology, but about the assistance that their students are given. In 2011, Clintondale became the first US high school to have all of its classrooms flipped.
With one small change, Clintondale’s failure rate dropped from 35% to 10% and college enrollment grew from 63% to 80% in only two years. Not only were their ratings improving, but their students also felt much better about their education.
“Once I came over here, it was completely different. I absolutely loved that I could get the teacher’s help in the classroom,” said student Gisselle De La Cruz Diaz. “I honestly went from a D, F—those were my basic grades—to almost all A’s right now.” This was Clintondale’s true success.
Watch the incredible success story here.
Clintondale’s sudden progress has caught the attention of schools nationwide. 48% of these schools had flipped classrooms by 2012, and that grew to 78% by 2014. Sometimes, one small change is all it takes.